Jeff Samardzija's last start at Camden Yards was one to forget. Luckily for him, nobody was there to see it.
Samardzija, then a member of the White Sox, allowed 10 hits and eight runs -- seven earned -- in an 8-2 loss to the Orioles in Baltimore on April 29, 2015. The game was closed to the public after riots broke out in Baltimore following Freddie Gray's funeral.
"It was like a dream," Samardzija, now with the Giants, said to reporters on Sunday. "It was like a bad dream.
The first inning of Samardzija's return to Camden Yards looked like another nightmare. He allowed a solo shot to Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini, who was just the second batter he faced in the first inning.
But Samardzija settled down and only allowed two more hits and no runs over six innings in the Giants' 8-1 win. This time, the right-hander could enjoy the right kind of dream by earning his first win since April 23.
It was also only the third time Samardzija has pitched at least six innings all season long. The Giants have been trying to limit his pitch counts this season after he's combined to throw only 101 innings the past two years due to injuries.
Over his 12-year career, however, Samardzija has thrown more than 200 innings five times. He still believes the deeper he goes into a game, the better he pitches.
"This just in that I get better and throw harder later in the game," Samardzija said sarcastically to reporters. "It's been like that my whole career, and it's always going to be that way."
Samardzija tossed 110 pitches over his six innings and struck out six batters. His ERA is now down to 3.61, which would be his lowest as Giant if the season ended today.
The Giants leave Baltimore with a series win Sunday, and Samardzija can happily dream this time on the team's flight to New York for a three-game series against the Mets starting on Tuesday.